Wednesday, February 10, 2016
* Brazil: Brazil’s annual inflation rate rose to 10.7% and, thus, climbed to its highest point in over twelve years.
* Dominican Republic: Much like Pulitzer Prize-wining author Junot Diaz, Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa has come under fire in the Dominican Republic for criticizing the controversial elimination of citizenship to tens of thousands of people with Haitian background.
* Haiti: The World Health Organization warned that at least 1.5 million Haitians could suffer from malnutrition caused by a drought made worse by El Niño.
* Cuba: Analysts believe the number of Cubans migrating to the U.S. is on the rise over worries that the "wet foot, dry foot" immigration policy could soon be scrapped.
YouTube Source – CCTV America
Online Sources – MercoPress, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Guardian, CNBC
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
* Nicaragua: Nicaraguan officials still plan to go ahead with the construction of an interoceanic canal despite construction delays, financing issues, and strong opposition from residents.
* Latin America: The Vatican presented a more detailed agenda of Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to Cuba and Mexico, while Catholics in Chile have urged the pontiff to fire a bishop accused of covering up sexual abuse cases.
* Argentina: The Argentine government offered $6.5 billion to settle with some creditors holding on to $80 billion in defaulted debt but may face pushback from bondholders seeking full repayment.
* Puerto Rico: More bad news for debt-ridden Puerto Rico as economic activity suffered a 0.5% yearly drop last December.
YouTube Source – PBS NewsHour (Video uploaded on April 2015).
Online Sources – The Australian, Catholic News Service, teleSUR English, Bloomberg, Reuters
Monday, February 8, 2016
* Haiti: Monday marks the first full day a transitional government rules Haiti after Michel Martelly stepped down as president amid political chaos and instability.
* Mexico: A ninth inning home run by Jorge Vazquez in the final game helped power Mexico to the Caribbean Series title for the third time in four years.
Update: On a related note, Cuba's Gourriel brothers including "star infielder" Yulieski reportedly left the team hotel and plan to defect as part of an attempt to play in the major leagues.
* Venezuela: Shopping malls in Caracas will cut their hours of service to four hours per day as a result of weather-related energy rationing.
* El Salvador: Human rights advocates and friends of six Jesuit priests massacred in 1989 are pleased with the recent arrest of four ex-military members accused of committing the murders.
YouTube Source – AFP
Online Sources including Update – Vice News, The Latin Americanist, BBC News, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, ESPN
Friday, February 5, 2016
* Colombia: U.S. President Barack Obama proposed increasing foreign aid to Colombia by more than 50% to around $450 million in order to help end “half a century of wrenching conflict” in the Latin American country.
* Peru: The odds of Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of imprisoned former leader Alberto Fujimori, winning Peru’s presidential election in April could become stronger with the possible disqualification of two campaign rivals.
* Brazil: The first Palestinian Authority embassy in the Americas was inaugurated this week in the Brazilian capital city of Brasilia.
* Venezuela: A congressional plan to free political dissidents has become the newest battleground issue in the acrimonious relations between the Venezuelan government and the opposition.
YouTube Source – AFP
Online Sources – Reuters, Forward, Yahoo News
Thursday, February 4, 2016
* Ecuador: British authorities threatened with arresting Wikileaks founder Julian Assange if he decides to leave the Ecuador’s embassy in London where he has been given refuge since June 2012.
* Chile: A Chilean judge ordered the remains of the late Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda to be returned to his tomb nearly three years after they were uncovered.
* Cuba: Cuba’s foreign minister claimed that relations between his country and the U.S. would not be fully normalized until the trade embargo against the island is eliminated.
* Panama: Software giant SAP will pay a $3.9 million settlement in relation to a bribery scandal involving former Panamanian government officials including ex-president Ricardo Martinelli.
YouTube Source – Reuters (“The founder of whistleblower website, Wikileaks, returns to the spotlight ahead of a U.N. panel decision that could determine whether he has been ‘arbitrarily detained’ in London”.)
Online Sources – euronews, The Register, Reuters, Fox News Latino
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
* Haiti: In an unusual twist in Haiti’s electoral crisis, musician turned president Michel Martelly released a song criticizing his political rivals that includes “sexually suggestive lyrics” against “an award-winning female journalist.”
* Argentina: The Argentine Congress is expected to approve a deal to pay $1.35 billion to Italian creditors holding unpaid debt related to a record $100 billion default in 2002.
* U.S.: Approximately 10,500 Latinos are believed to have voted in the Iowa presidential caucuses last Monday, which far outnumbers the 1000 from four years ago and triple the participation in 2008.
* El Salvador: Is San Salvador truly the world’s most violent city instead of Caracas, Venezuela?
YouTube Source – TRT World
Online Sources – InSight Crime, Voice of America, Buzzfeed, Reuters
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
* Dominican Republic: A group of U.S. rabbis who recently visited the Dominican Republic condemned the country’s immigration laws that left “stateless” tens of thousands of residents of Haitian background.
* Puerto Rico: Puerto Rican officials presented a restructuring plan that would cut its debt from $49.2 billion to $26.5 billion, while the debt issue will likely be discussed at a meeting scheduled today between President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
* Venezuela: Problems at Venezuelan state-run oil company PDVSA are to blame for Pastor Maldonado likely being out of Formula 1 racing.
* Brazil: Child labor in Brazil dropped by 43% over the past decade according to new government statistics.
YouTube Source – AFP (Video uploaded on November 2015).
Online Sources – Al Jazeera America, Bloomberg, Reuters, Autoweek
Monday, February 1, 2016
* El Salvador: Ex-President Francisco Flores passed away on Saturday prior to standing trial over the alleged embezzlement of $15 million in earthquake relief funds.
* Chile: Manuel Pelligrini will depart from coaching English soccer club Manchester City, while ex-Spanish international Juan Antonio Pizzi will head Copa America titleholders Chile.
* Guatemala: Two former Guatemalan military commanders are expected to go on trial today over the raping and enslavement of eleven women during the brutal civil war thirty years ago.
* Ecuador: Ecuadoran officials finalized the $80 million sale of 500,000-acre oil blocs to a pair of Chinese firms despite resistance from environmentalists and indigenous Amazon communities.
YouTube Source – euronews
Online Sources – USA TODAY, The Guardian, BBC Sport, SBS, The Los Angeles Times
Friday, January 29, 2016
* Colombia: President Juan Manuel Santos called on the U.S. to remove the FARC from its list of terrorist groups in order to help advance peace talks that could end with a full agreement by March.
* Puerto Rico: While the Zika virus continues to spread across the Americas, Puerto Rican health officials warned that the flu reached epidemic levels on the commonwealth.
* Latin America: Caracas, Venezuela supplanted San Pedro Sula in Honduras as the world’s most violent city according to the Mexico-based Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice.
* Mexico: Should Canada’s new government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau focus on more on strengthening ties with Mexico than the U.S.?
YouTube Source – euronews
Online Sources – NBC News, Reuters, ABC News, The Telegtaph, The Globe and Mail
Thursday, January 28, 2016
* Brazil: A new spill has been reported at the same mine where a landslide of toxic sludge last November was deemed as the worst environmental disaster in Brazilian history.
* Latin America: Should women avoid pregnancy in order to halt the spread of the Zika virus or is such a warning unnecessary?
* U.S.: A new study noted an increase in Latino college enrollment though most head to Hispanic-Serving Institutions found in a limited number of states.
* Mexico: Legislators in Mexico’s Congress began a series of discussions this week that could open the door to legalizing the recreational use of marijuana.
YouTube Source – euronews (At least seventeen people died after the Samarco dam mine in southwest Brazil overflowed last year).
Online Sources – Latin American Herald Tribune, ABC News, Reuters, NBC News, Quartz
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
* Brazil: Brazil suffered the biggest drop in the latest Transparency International corruption perceptions index while most Latin American countries did not rank highly on the list.
* Argentina: Argentina may have one of the world’s largest cattle populations but high inflation may force the country to import its beef.
* Venezuela: Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro ordered oil minister Eulogio del Pino to visit oil-producing countries with the possibly futile aim of “stopping the madness” that is plummeting crude prices.
* Mexico: The Mexican state of Jalisco has become the latest territory in the Americas to legalize same-sex marriage.
YouTube Source – AFP (Last August, “hundreds of thousands of protesters demand Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's resignation, blaming her and the leftist Workers' Party for runaway corruption and looming recession in Latin America's biggest country”.)
Online Sources – Reuters, ABC News, Financial Times, PRI
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
* Cuba: The U.S. government announced today new measures to relax regulations against Cuba that include facilitating exports and expanding opportunities to travel to the island.
* Puerto Rico: More Puerto Ricans are reportedly opting to migrate to the Dominican Republic than vice versa in order to flee from the commonwealth’s dire economic state.
* Colombia: In a rare unanimous vote, the U.N. Security Council approved creating a mission of observers to monitor a peace deal between the Colombian government and FARC that may be reached by March 23rd.
* El Salvador: Should El Salvador relax its complete ban on abortion in light of the spreading Zika virus affecting pregnant women and newborn babies?
YouTube Source – Boom Bust
Online Sources – Salon, Bloomberg, CBS News, GlobalPost, CNN
Monday, January 25, 2016
* Haiti: “We are ready for war…we will divide the country,” declared former coup plotter and suspected drug smuggler Guy Philippe over the chaos resulting from the latest delay in the Haitian presidential elections.
* Ecuador: Chevron welcomed a judicial ruling at The Hague against Ecuador in relation to a years-long environmental damages lawsuit.
* El Salvador: Former Salvadoran President Francisco Flores is hospitalized under a coma and reportedly in critical condition after he was found unconscious in his home last night.
* U.S.: Latino rights groups such as LULAC are trying to push Iowa’s growing Hispanic population to participate in the February 1st presidential caucuses.
YouTube Source – euronews
Online Sources – Al Jazeera America, The Latin Americanist, Fox News Latino, NPR, teleSUR English
Friday, January 22, 2016
* Latin America: A World Bank study warned that the number of youth in Latin America who are not in school or employed (“ninis”) has grown since 1992.
* Haiti: President Michel Martelly confirmed that the controversial runoff election for his successor will take place this Sunday and ruled out opposition calls to back a transitional government.
Update (January 23rd, 12:20 AM): Haitian electoral officials postponed the January 24th runoff due to "a deteriorating security environment and threats to the electoral process." The election has thus been delayed for a third time after originally being scheduled for December 27, 2015.
* Mexico: The Mexican government reported that homicides increased in 2015 for the first time in four years though other serious crimes like kidnapping and extortion decreased.
* South America: Bolivia and Ecuador are among the eight countries added to a Centers for Disease Control travel advisory warning due to the spreading Zika virus.
YouTube Source – CCTV America
Online Sources – The Guardian, Mashable, France 24, The Latin Americanist, Reuters
Thursday, January 21, 2016
* Venezuela: The OPEC oil cartel will likely rebuff Venezuela’s latest appeal for an emergency meeting even though the economy of the Latin American state has been battered by the plummeting price of crude.
* Puerto Rico: “Now is the time to act,” declared U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew as he urged Congress to take steps and help pass a deal to restructure Puerto Rico’s multibillion dollar public debt.
* Mexico: The U.S. State Department issued a new travel warning for visitors going to Mexico though the advisory appears to be unrelated to the recent arrest of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
* Brazil: A diplomatic tiff has developed between Brazil and Israel over the naming of an ex-West Bank settler leader to serve as ambassador to the South American country.
YouTube Source – euronews business
Online Sources – Reuters, Washington Post, ABC News, Forbes
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
* Honduras: The Honduran government and the Organization of American States agreed to create an international body aimed at combating political and judicial corruption.
* Latin America: The International Monetary Fund believes that the economy of the Latin America and Caribbean region will contract for the second straight year and shrink by 0.3% in 2016.
* U.S.: A new Pew Research Center study found that the Latino electorate has grown mainly thanks to more millennials and naturalized citizens.
* Colombia: Colombian officials and the FARC rebels requested U.N. monitoring of their bilateral ceasefire roughly two months prior to a self-imposed deadline to reach a final peace deal.
YouTube Source – AJ+ (Video uploaded on July 2015).
Online Sources – The Guardian, Financial Times, Pew Hispanic Center, BBC News